This Carrot and Cauliflower Soup is both super nutritious and easy to make! This healthy cauliflower soup recipe is loaded with carrots, onions, and cauliflower, plus a bit of cayenne pepper for some added flavor. Enjoy chilled for a refreshing appetizer or lunch anytime.
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This Carrot Cauliflower Soup is technically a carrot gazpacho, meant to be served cold, and it’s delish! You’ll need just a few ingredients – primarily onions, cauliflower, carrots, and vegetable broth – which are cooked until tender and then blended into a delightfully creamy, thick soup.
This easy cauliflower soup is actually a great recipe for babies, as it’s full of whole foods and little else. You’ll just want to skip the cayenne pepper. (You can always add it to individual bowls if you’re cooking for the whole family!)
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Olive oil & butter – Used for sauteeing the veggies.
- Onions – white or yellow onions work best. Red onions are a bit too spicy and pungent for the actual soup.
- Carrots – Give the soup a beautiful color plus flavor and nutrients. Cut them into 1” pieces before cooking.
- Cauliflower – See below for tips on choosing the best cauliflower.
- Vegetable broth – I used vegetable broth for extra flavor but if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian chicken broth works just as well.
- Cayenne pepper – Adds just a bit of heat to the soup.
- Buttermilk – Adds an extra level of creaminess to the soup. If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own. Just add two teaspoons of white vinegar to 3/4 cup of milk and let sit for about 10 minutes to sour on its own.
- Red onions & green onions – Added as a garnish for extra flavor.
- Fresh basil
- Lemon – Lemon zest & lemon juice both add a hint of citrus that makes the soup flavors pop.
- Salt & pepper
Tips for Choosing The Best Cauliflower
Do you just grab whatever head of cauliflower is on top of the shelf or do you spend a few minutes searching for the perfect one?
Here are a few tips for choosing the best cauliflower at the store. Since it’s such a main component of this recipe, you’ll want to make sure you’re grabbing the freshest cauliflower possible.
- Looking for a creamy white color with no brown spots.
- Avoid any with soft spots (these spots are also usually discolored)
- The leaves should be bright green, intact, and closely covering the cauliflower. The fresher the leaves appear, the more recently the cauliflower was harvested.
- The florets should be tight together, not separating.
- Once home, keep the cauliflower in your vegetable crisper for optimal freshness.
How to Properly Store Fresh Carrots
One fantastic thing about carrots is that they can last a long time. They’re one vegetable that you can forget in the fridge for a while and they’ll still likely be just fine when you remember them. Whole, unpeeled carrots can last up to a month!
But for optimal freshness, here’s how to properly store carrots.
- Do not wash them until you’re using them. The moisture from washing the carrots, even if you dry them, can cause them to wilt.
- Remove any carrot greens. The leaves will continue to suck the moisture from the carrot, so cut them off before storing.
- Keep them in the coolest part of your fridge. You don’t necessarily need to keep carrots in the crisper, just whatever is the coldest part of the fridge.
- Keep them away from apples. Apples produce ethylene gas, which can cause carrots to spoil faster.
- Wrap them in paper towels and store them in an airtight container.
- A note on peeled carrots – If you have peeled carrots, you’ll want to keep them in an airtight container, submerged in water, to prevent them from drying out. They should be used within 1 week.
How to Make Carrot and Cauliflower Soup
Step One: To make this spicy cauliflower soup, begin by heating the olive oil and butter in a soup pot. Add the onions and saute until they brown slightly. This usually takes about 7 minutes.
Step Two: Add the chopped cauliflower and carrots to the pot. Saute for about 5 minutes.
Step Three: Pour the broth into the pot, then bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat. Simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the vegetables softened enough to blend.
Step Four: Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cayenne pepper.
Step Five: Allow the soup to cool just a bit then use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Since this carrot cauliflower soup is technically a gazpacho, you’ll want to refrigerate the soup until it’s completely cooled. (This can be overnight!) Just keep it stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
Step Six: Once cooled and before serving stir in the buttermilk.
This soup is quite thick so if you want it to be thinner, add a bit more vegetable, chicken broth, or water to get the desired consistency.
Step Seven: Combine the red onion, green onion, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a bowl. You can do this ahead of time but just before serving it best.
Step Eight: Before serving, mix the red onion, green onions, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
When ready to serve, ladle the chilled carrot soup into bowls, then serve with a spoonful of the onion-basil mixture on top as a garnish.
Do You Eat This Carrot Cauliflower Soup Hot or Cold?
This cauliflower carrot soup is technically a gazpacho, which means it’s a thicker soup intended to be served cold. I find it particularly refreshing and nourishing served that way!
But if desired, you can also warm this carrot soup recipe up on the stovetop before enjoying.
What to Serve With Spicy Cauliflower Soup
This carrot and cauliflower soup can be served as an appetizer or main entree. I love it as a light and refreshing lunch! You may want to serve it with a slice of crusty bread or one of these other sides:
Can This Soup Be Prepared In Advance?
Yes! Since this easy cauliflower soup is meant to be served chilled, it’s actually best to prepare it in advance so it has plenty of time to chill.
Flavor-wise, this soup is also better the next day, so I recommend preparing it a day in advance even if you intend to serve it warm.
Proper Storage & Freezing
Carrot and cauliflower soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, which makes it perfect for enjoying throughout the week. (And perfect for packing for lunch, since you won’t even need to reheat it!)
If you’d like to freeze the soup, transfer it to freezer-safe containers, and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and enjoy!
In both cases, you’ll want to store the garnish separately. It will last in the fridge for 3 days as well. In the case of frozen soup, make the garnish when you’re ready to eat th
More Soup Recipes:
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Carrot and Cauliflower Soup
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 ½ cups chopped white or yellow onions
- 2 lb carrots; peeled, trimmed and chopped into 1" pieces
- 4 ½ cups cauliflower florets (1 medium head of cauliflower)
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 2-3 green onions; trimmed and chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh basil; chopped
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Add the olive oil and butter to a large heavy-bottomed soup pot and melt over medium heat. Add the white onions and sautee until they start to brown slightly. About 7 minutes
- Add the chopped cauliflower and carrots o the pot and sautee for 5 minutes.
- Pour the broth into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer until the vegetables are soft. About 45 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cayenne pepper. Let cool slightly and then use an immersion blender to blend the vegetables until the soup is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired.
- Refrigerate the soup until cooled completely and cover it with a tight-fitting lid until ready to serve. Stir in the buttermilk. If you wish the soup to be thinner add a little more vegetable broth, chicken broth or water to get the desired consistency.
- Before serving, mix the red onion, green onions, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a small bowl. When ready to serve the soup add a spoonful on top as a garnish. Serve chilled or warm.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.